How RBS uses Big Data in practice
As RBS head of analytics Christian Nelissen explained to me, banks have become detached from their customers: “In the Seventies, banks, through the agency of their branch staff and managers, knew their customers individually. They knew who they were … who their family were and what they were trying to do.”
During the 1980s, this personal relationship was lost as retail banks moved away from solely helping customers look after their finances to pushing all kinds of financial and insurance products, regardless of whether or not the customer needed those products.
RBS’s “personology” philosophy is part of the bank’s drive to restore personal customer service – by better understanding customers so they can better meet their needs. Banks have huge amounts of information on their customers. How we spend money and manage our finances gives an incredibly detailed picture of how we live our lives –when and where we go on holiday, for instance, or, if we’re lucky enough to have any, what sort of things we spend our excess income on.
Nelissen says, “If you look at someone like Amazon, they know relatively little about their customer compared to us, but they make very good use of the data they do have. There’s a huge richness in what we have and we’re only just starting to get to the potential of it.”
One simple example of this new personalised approach is congratulating customers when they contact a branch on their birthday. In another example, transactional data is analysed to identify where customers are paying twice for financial products, such as paying for insurance that is already provided as part of a bank account package.
The technical details
RBS uses their customers’ account transactional history and personal information to determine what products or services would be most useful to specific clients. The bank uses analytics-based CRM software developed by Pega systems to deliver real-time recommendations to branch staff and call centres about how to best help individual customers.
Ideas and insights you can steal
Data is useless if it doesn’t tell us something we don’t already know about our customers. By understanding customers better, like RBS, companies big and small can position themselves to better meet their needs.
You can read more about how RBS is using Big Data to drive success in Big Data in Practice: How 45 Successful Companies Used Big Data Analytics to Deliver Extraordinary Results.
Bernard Marr is a bestselling author, keynote speaker, and advisor to companies and governments. He has worked with and advised many of the world's best-known organisations. LinkedIn has recently ranked Bernard as one of the top 10 Business Influencers in the world (in fact, No 5 - just behind Bill Gates and Richard Branson). He writes on the topics of intelligent business performance for various publications including Forbes, HuffPost, and LinkedIn Pulse. His blogs and SlideShare presentation have millions of readers.